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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Protect Your Assets Before It's Too Late!

While it's next to impossible to protect all your assets from government-imposed estate taxes (excluding 2010, of course), it is very possible to protect a great deal of them. There are a number of tools available to you when it comes to asset protection and, with the right attorney and a comprehensive estate plan, you can use them to pass more on to your loved ones - preserving your estate into the future.

One of the tools available to individuals planning their estates is the grantor-retained annuity trust (GRAT).

The GRAT allows you to donate a certain amount of a moneymaking asset's future profits - for example, those of a small business - to the trust. You are allowed to pass money from that trust on to family members after:

  • you have recouped the money you put into the trust
  • you have received a certain percentage of interest from the money donated to the trust.

Once you have been paid these amounts, you are allowed to give the rest of the interest to family members - free from tax. GRATs usually don't have to be in place for too long, and some may stand for as little as two years before the tax-free ceiling is eclipsed.

That's how it works now, but as Anne Tergesen reports for The Wall Street Journal, chances are good that lawmakers will be making it harder to avoid estate taxes using a GRAT. There are two big ways they can do this - by extending the period of time the GRAT must exist from around two years to up to 10 years, and by increasing the amount of interest owners must recoup before profits from the trust can be given to family members.

If you are considering a GRAT, now is the time to speak with an estate-planning attorney about protecting your assets.

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